Archive for the ‘Daily Bible Study & Questions’ Category

Matthew 2:4b-12 Wise Men Still Seek Him (part 2)

star

The sign is renewed

Ok. We left off in our story with the men from the East at Herod’s court asking directions. Herod has just gathered anyone who could have any knowledge of what these men were talking about. And he was shaking in his sandals worried.

First off I want to note that he didn’t think their claims of a new king being born to be bogus. My bible says, “He inquired of them where the Christ was to be born” (verse 4b). He knew this King was to be the Christ! I don’t know if he knew the whole significance of the Christ, but he knew it spelled disaster for his rule.

The men he had gathered looked to the scriptures for their answers. They found exactly what was requested of them because God had already told them what and where this miracle was going to take place. This gave Herod half the answer to his problem.

I want to step outside the story for a moment and look closely at the titles given in this search. The wise men sought the “king of the Jews;” Herod ask for “the Christ;” and the scribes and chief priests offered “a ruler who will shepherd my people.” I don’t have a Greek, Hebrew or Latin translation (and wouldn’t know how to use it if I did) but how did they know they were all looking for the same thing? Did they use the same Greek/Hebrew/Latin word? Did God impart this knowledge to them during this encounter? How did they all agree on the significance of this child? Read more »

Matthew 2:1-4a Wise Men Still Seek Him (part 1)

A sign from above

A sign from above

The wise men in the East see the star. How did they know what this star meant? I’m thinking they were some form of ancient astronomers. How many other new stars had been seen in the heavens before and signified something critical in history? I’m assuming from the position of the star they judged it to be relevant to the Jewish people. I’m NOT an astronomer (as you can probably tell) but how did they know? What made them “follow” it?

I’m going to make up a story here. It is for my benefit but you might like it too. It’s a night like any other. Nothing special is happening. On a quiet hilltop somewhere far to the East of Jerusalem an observer is watching the night sky. This is not any observer but someone with some learning and connections. His attention is drawn to a particular star in the night sky. This star was not in this position before. (My bible says it “rose” so I’m going to say its change in position is what drew this learned man’s attention to it.) He has seen meteors before as they streak across the sky, but this star didn’t fade away but shown even more brightly in its new position! What could this mean? It had to be important. He had never observed anything like this before in his lifetime. He had to tell someone! Read more »

Matthew 1:18-25 God prepares Jesus’ earthly father

Bedtime Prayers

Bedtime Prayers

God picked very carefully and wisely when He chose an earthly father for His only begotten Son. Joseph was an amazing man! I don’t know many who could live up to his standards of faith and love.

First thing I want to know was how Joseph found out about Mary’s pregnancy. Did she tell him herself? Did he overhear others talking? Did he notice her “baby bump” and get suspicious?

Second, how far along was she when he found out? We know from Luke’s account that she spent the first three months of her pregnancy with her cousin Elizabeth. Did Joseph learn she was pregnant during those three months? If he did, it might have been easier for him to think things through. He obviously loved her; otherwise he wouldn’t have wanted to keep the divorce quiet. Most men, then and now, would be furious and want to cause her as much pain as she caused them. Read more »

Matthew 1:1-17 The Begats

Family Tree

Family Tree

I want to start out by saying that the lineage parts of the bible are tedious to me. I have tried on several occasions to set down and put things in order and look deeper into them. Things like each life span, other family members not listed, and historical facts. I always wind up lost and confused so I simply read the list and go from there. Something always pops up though so here we go with what I noticed this time when I read it.

The first thing that strikes me is that we didn’t go all the way back to Adam and give the FULL lineage. We have from Adam to Abraham in other places in the bible, so maybe Matthew (and God) didn’t think it needed to be repeated here.

The second points of interest to me are the women’s names in the list. The first woman is Tamar. She had to trick Judah to even get pregnant. God wanted to continue on the lineage but both Judah’s older sons were “wicked in the sight of the Lord” so he didn’t let her conceive by either of them. A “one night stand” as the temple prostitute with Judah though brought her twins. (Their birth is another interesting story. Maybe I’ll get back to that one another day. You can look it up in Genesis 38 if you want to.) Read more »